Heel Spurs, Plantar Fasciitis and Shockwave Therapy  

Pain in the heel and arch of the foot is a common condition, and our Ottawa physiotherapists and chiropractors help diagnose many patients with heel spurs. It can be a tricky condition, and there are many treatment options.

In the US, it’s estimated that about 2 million people are treated for heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. It’s seen in both athletes and other active people, along with those who lead much more sedentary lives.

Nowadays, surgery is only suggested in more extreme cases. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved, and complications that can result.

One of the modern treatments for heel spurs is Shockwave Therapy, a technique that has shown promising results for many patients with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis & Heel (Bone) Spurs

Heel spurs by themselves may or may not cause pain; you may never know you have one. About half the people who present with plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs.

  • Bone spurs are a small growth usually found at the top of the heel bone. It extends in a curve towards the arch of the foot.
  • Often, it's an X-ray for another condition, such as plantar fasciitis, that leads to a diagnosis of heel spurs.
  • The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that connects the foot along the bottom, heel to toe, and plays a role in supporting the arch.
  • Because of over-use or undue stress, the plantar fascia can become inflamed, causing pain.

After a thorough examination and diagnosis, your Ottawa physiotherapist or other sports medicine specialist will recommend various treatments, which may include Shockwave Therapy.

Shockwave Therapy

In essence, Shockwave Therapy, or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), uses electromagnets or other techniques to send a shockwave through soft tissues. The noninvasive therapy can be focused at a very specific point.

While the mechanisms at work inside the body remain somewhat unknown, it’s believed that,

  • The shockwave increases blood flow to the area;
  • It helps to promote healing.

A Brazilian research study found that Shockwave Therapy helped to improve the function of the foot, as well as pain levels in patients with plantar fasciitis. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7006537/)

  • Above all, it's important to remember that prevention is better than a cure. Wearing the proper footwear, and making sure your feet are properly supported whether you are playing sports or simply walking the dog is crucial.

If you have any questions about foot issues, or you are experiencing foot or heel pain, don't hesitate to contact one of our Ottawa physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today for a consultation. Our sports medicine specialists are ready to help.






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